5544_flock_front
The Passenger Pigeon, Ectopistes migratorious

Latin name translates: wandering migrator

Native North American dove. Closest remaining relative: the mourning dove, but the Passenger Pigeon was larger and more colorful

Total population once as many as 5 billion birds

Flew at sixty miles an hour

Traveled in huge flocks; as many as two billion birds. Flocks took days to pass

Hunted for food and fertilizer at the end of the nineteenth century. As many as 50,000 birds killed a day

Over hunting led to extinction despite late efforts to conserve the bird, including laws enacted by Congress

Most lived east of the Mississippi River

The last Passenger pigeon died in the Cincinnati Zoo September 1, 1914. Her name was Martha, after Martha Washington. She was 29.

Flock is a mural by ELKPEN, and part of a series highlighting wildlife in our shared urban environment. ELKPEN is an artist living in Los Angeles.